Hwang Sun-woo’s barriers to overcome

At just 20 years old, Korea’s “swimming hope” Hwang Sun-woo has shown remarkable growth at the Fukuoka World Aquatics Championships.

Hwang touched the touchpad in 1 minute, 44.42 seconds to win a bronze medal and a new Korean record in the 200-meter business freestyle final at the World Championships at Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall on Friday. It is the first time a South Korean athlete has won back-to-back medals in the long course (50 meters) at a World Championships.

But more importantly, it was a record-breaking performance. Hwang Sun-woo’s time of 1:44.42 in the 200-meter freestyle was 0.05 seconds faster than the previous Korean record (1:44.47) he set in the event in Budapest last year.

Most athletes can’t improve their times any further once they reach the mid-1:44s, so a time in the low-to-mid 1:44s in the men’s 200-meter freestyle is a gold medal contender.

“It’s really great that I managed to lower my personal best time, which is really hard to do, and win a bronze medal at the same time,” said Hwang Sun-woo. “I’m now only 0.03 seconds away from the Asian record, and I’ll try to break it.”

However, the competition also revealed challenges. After competing in the 200-meter freestyle final on Friday, Hwang struggled physically in the 100-meter freestyle heats in the morning and the semifinals in the afternoon. In the 100-meter semifinals, he touched the touchpad in 48.08, which was not only a Korean record but also short of his season’s best of 47.44 set in Gwangju in June.

Hwang’s final goal is to win gold in the 800-meter freestyle relay as part of Hangzhou’s “swimming trifecta. However, as the first swimmer in the 800-meter medley relay at the Games, Hwang faltered in the preliminaries with a time of 1:47.29 for the 200-meter leg, and then struggled in the final with a time of 1:46.35.

The reason for Hwang’s poor performance in the relay is that he is not feeling well. It was a moment that showed that he needs to take care of his body more carefully. 먹튀검증

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